SOURCE: Bruce Boyers Marketing Services

November 26, 2008 14:00 ET

Terabyte Disks: "Nature Abhors a Vacuum"

BURBANK, CA--(Marketwire - November 26, 2008) - It's an ancient observation, originally credited to Aristotle: "Nature abhors a vacuum." While physicists have taken great pains to prove the statement to not be entirely accurate, it has been used to demonstrate that political voids will not remain unfilled, that beautiful, unsettled lands will become overrun with shopping malls and tract homes, and that the departure of one pop star seems to beg the immediate arrival of another. On a more down-to-earth level, the suburban 2-car garage will eventually become packed with cast-off useless junk that for some mysterious reason can never be discarded.

This "law" also seems to have high applicability in the field of computers. Warning of impending doom due to overly full hard drives, the IT department pushes through the purchase of hard disks with double the existing capacity. In seemingly no time at all, these drives are maxed out and more and larger ones are being demanded. The computer industry as a whole seems to have continuously responded to this eternal thirst for storage, offering progressively higher capacities year after year.

We have now arrived at a time and place that multiple-terabyte drives are now becoming common, and in many quarters huge sighs of relief can now being heard. But just as with the megabyte, then gigabyte drives, these too will fill up and have their capacities exceeded.

As these drives grow, so does an inherent problem with all drives large and small: file fragmentation. Because the operating system fragments files automatically, fragmentation has nothing whatsoever to do with the size or speed of the disk. Small or large, the files written to a disk will be fragmented, and a defragmenter will be required.

Unfortunately, however, when it comes to these fantastic capacities, it takes a whole new level of defragmentation technology to address it. Many defragmenters were not created to defragment large drives, and in many cases large drive fragmentation isn't even touched by a defragmenter; the defragmenter simply grinds endlessly, not being able to keep up with the sheer volume of fragmentation.

Just as it takes ever increasing amounts of drive space to handle the ever increasing storage needs of enterprises, it takes an appropriately powerful defragmenter to tackle multi-terabyte drives. It is a whole new era of data processing and storage -- and a whole new era of defragmentation as well.

Sooner or later, your company will succumb to the law that "nature abhors a vacuum" -- if it hasn't already -- and those huge-capacity drives will be running on your servers. Make sure your defrag technology is capable of maximizing the performance and reliability required of them.

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